The fight over same-sex marriage has taken place across the country, in homes, schools, campaigns and bedrooms, an incredible number of times through recent decades. The issue holds a special place in the American political process for the emotions it raises among both its supporters and its detractors.
Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage and one of the two major political parties have embraced it as a part of their platform. Now the debate has taken over Rhode Island. Lawmakers in the R.I. House of Representatives passed a bill in February that would legalize same-sex marriage. If the Senate approves the bill, Rhode Island’s governor Lincoln Chafee’75 P’14 will sign it. The matter, however, is far from settled.
On April 23 at 4 p.m., The Brown Daily Herald is teaming up with the University’s Taubman Center for Public Policy to host a panel discussion of Rhode Island’s debate over same-sex marriage. The speakers will look at the development of the same-sex marriage movement and discuss how national momentum has led to today’s fight in Rhode Island. Both advocates and opponents of same-sex marriage will be on hand to talk about their causes.
The Herald and the Taubman Center are committed to providing students at Brown an opportunity to experience the debate that is playing out in the State House as well as across the state.
Before the advocates discuss whether Rhode Island should legalize same-sex marriage, Professor of History Robert Self will discuss the recent history of the gay rights movement, and Courtney Cahill, professor of law at the University of Florida’s College of Law, will look at how the Supreme Court could make Rhode Island’s debate irrelevant.
Panelists who are speaking on behalf of a specific political position on same-sex marriage are:
– Rev. Thomas Petri, Catholic priest and a friar in the Order of the Preachers
– Christopher Plante, regional director for the National Organization for Marriage
– Janson Wu, staff attorney at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)